Action Alert: PA Lawmakers Just Introduced a 6-Week Abortion Ban

Have you been following the uproar over Iowa signing into law “one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws?”

Pennsylvania lawmakers just introduced it here.

HB2315, introduced by Rep. Saccone, attempts to criminalize abortion at approximately six weeks, far before the legal threshold and even before most women know they are pregnant.

In 2016, a similar bill was vetoed by Ohio Governor John Kasich after women placed hangers outside the statehouse in Ohio as a reminder of what happens when abortion is criminalized.

This bill is just the latest in an onslaught of unconstitutional abortion restrictions in Pennsylvania. Here’s a brief overview of the lowlights of how the anti-choice radicals in the Pennsylvania Legislature have been using their time and taxpayer money:

  • This winter, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed Senate Bill 3 without public hearings and despite the opposition of medical experts. SB3 threatened Pennsylvania physicians with felony arrest unless they provide pregnant Pennsylvanians substandard medical care, per the orders of politicians who want to punish women for having an abortion. (SB3 was vetoed by Governor Wolf in January.)
  • Last month, the Pennsylvania House sent HB2050, a cynical, failed attempt to use rhetoric to divide the disability rights and reproductive rights advocates by exploiting the needs of people with disabilities, to the Senate with no public hearings and despite the opposition of medical experts. (It may still move in the Senate, stay tuned.)
  • Early this year, PA House leaders promoted anti-choice activist Rep. Kathy Rapp to Chair of the House Health Committee in order to use a committee established to improve public health to instead advance anti-science abortion restrictions targeting pregnant Pennsylvanians.
  • Last year, they promoted SB300, a bill with the goal of punishing women who rely on Planned Parenthood for reproductive healthcare by abruptly halting reimbursement payments for preventative healthcare services such as a pap smear (this bill is still sitting in committee in the Senate).
  • In 2014, they advanced HB1762, an “admitting privileges” bill, which is a typical bill known as a “TRAP” (targeted regulation of abortion providers) law because it targets abortion providers with medically unnecessary, arbitrary regulations that have no medical benefit.
  • That same year, they advanced a resolution honoring a radical anti-abortion protester known for harassing patients for his “contributions to the Commonwealth.” (The resolution died in Committee when people like you spoke out against it.)

Meanwhile, according to the Center for American Progress, Pennsylvania stands out as one of the states that are among the worst in the nation for women. We’re in a crisis for access to reproductive healthcare, with only one OB-GYN for every 19,656 women in the state. We have the 12th highest infant mortality rate in the country. According to the EEOC, Pennsylvania is one of the 10 worst states for pregnancy discrimination.

Call your Representative and tell them we need healthcare in Pennsylvania, not more attempts to arrest physicians for providing legal, safe, compassionate abortion care.

We need workplace accommodations for pregnant workers so pregnant Pennsylvanians aren’t forced to choose between keeping a job and keeping a pregnancy. We need workplace accommodations for nursing mothers, so more new moms returning to work can continue breastfeeding, as public health experts recommend. We need equal pay. We need to improve sexual harassment protections. What we don’t need is another unconstitutional abortion restriction greased through the Legislature without public input and despite the opposition of medical experts.

Please contact your state Representative in any way you can and urge them to OPPOSE HB2315.

The Women’s Law Project is a public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

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About womenslawproject

The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
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